FRENCH LIGUE 1

Francois-Coty , France

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AC Ajaccio

  • Grenddy Perozo 31'

1 - 3

FT

Marseille

  • Dimitri Payet 27'
  • Andre-Pierre Gignac 39'
  • Florian Thauvin 58'

AC Ajaccio v Marseille: Preview

Interim Ajaccio coach Christian Bracconi will not set points targets during the battle against the drop - but he is expecting another committed display as Marseille arrive for his first home game in charge.

The former striker earned a point from his first appointment in the Corsicans' dugout, arresting the five-game losing streak overseen by sacked boss Fabrizio Ravanelli with a battling 1-1 draw at Toulouse.

Seventeenth place and safety in Ligue 1 are three points away from a team that has only won once this season but, ahead of Friday's meeting with OM at the Stade Francois Coty, Bracconi has seen promising signs that his charges are ready to fight their way out of the bottom three.

He will not, however, demand a minimum points-haul before the winter break begins on December 22.

He told a press conference: ``Our goal is to prepare for games in the best possible way and leave nothing to chance.

``Marseille are our only target. To talk about number of points at this stage would be a mistake because we just need to focus more on each match that comes.

``We will do everything we can to get the maximum number of points before Christmas but really we just want to be in a better position for the second half of the season.

``That's our short-term goal.''

Referring to the Toulouse game, in which Ajaccio were denied a rare victory after Issiaga Sylla cancelled out Paul Lasne's opener, he added: ``The players fought a real battle and used all their strength.

``We welcome that and told them that that courage and strength will be fundamental to our cause.

``It highlighted the seriousness and commitment of this team, it showed the solidarity we used to have, and it showed us exactly what we're capable of.''

Sigamary Diarra (hamstring), Aboubacar Camara (groin), Johan Cavalli (thigh), Alessandro Crescenzi (thigh) and Ricardo Faty (foot) have all benefitted from the international break but their participation remains in doubt.

``There is no miracle cure, but the 15-day break will have been beneficial to the players,'' Bracconi added.

``We need to find the right balance between maintaining the intensity we need for high-level matches and in the recovery phase, so we don't burn our players out.''

Marseille are also, by their own standards at least, underachieving and will need other results to go their way to breach the top four should they win in Corsica.

Promoted Nantes are surprisingly two points better off and host Monaco.

Any positive result will, however, come without winger Andre Ayew, who sustained a knee injury while on international duty with France.

The 23-year-old will undergo surgery on Monday while defender Rod Fanni is unlikely to feature after sustaining adductor damage.

ends

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